Finland's SOK Group, part of the S-Group retail conglomerate, is to take its Prisma hypermarket business into Russia with a store in the heart of St Petersburg.

SOK's first Russian store, covering 2,500 square metres, will open in the city's famous Nevsky Prospekt district this summer, Antti Sippola, senior vice president, SOK Business Units told just-food today (28 March).

Sippola said three to five Prisma stores are expected to open in St. Petersburg by the end of 2009 and the long-term aim is to open 15 to 20 stores throughout Russia.

Prisma is market leader for hypermarkets in Finland and is also active in the Baltic countries.

SOK said the Rocca al Mare Prisma store in the Estonian capital of Tallinn will be expanded and moved to new premises this year at a cost of EUR68m (US$107m). Expansion will bring floor space to 12,000sq metres.

Prisma has a 20% market share of the Estonian hypermarket sector.